Crossing the Solent
Red Funnel takes foot passengers and vehicles on the 55- to 60-minute journey from Southampton to East Cowes. Red Funnel’s Red Jet Hi-Speed foot-passenger-only service, between Southampton and West Cowes, takes as little as 23 minutes.
0844 844 9988
Hovertravel operates a foot-passenger service between Southsea and Ryde, which takes 10 minutes. For details of timetables and fares.
South West Trains offers combined rail-and-ferry tickets to the Island. Regular services to Southampton Central station connect with the ferry. Foot passengers arriving by ferry at Ryde Pier can take an Island Line train to Sandown and Shanklin.
0345 6000 650
National Express operates services to Portsmouth and Southsea with through-tickets to Ryde.
Take your car on the ferry from Southampton or pick up a rental car on the Island. Only a minute’s walk from the Red Jet Terminal in Cowes, near the Pier View pub, you’ll find Top Gear, which offers car, van and cycle hire.
Esplanade Car Hire is on the doorstep of the hovercraft terminal in Ryde.
On the Island
Southern Vectis runs frequent services across the Island. A wide range of tickets offers unlimited travel on all buses, including Open Top Breezer tours. Prices start from £10 for an adult 24-hour Rover to £24 for a seven-day Freedom pass, children (aged 5-18) travel half price. Group prices range from £25 for a day Rover to £55 for a seven-day Freedom pass (for families of up to five people).
For further details and more information, call 01983 827000
The Island Line runs between Ryde, Brading, Sandown, Lake and Shanklin. Frequent users can save money with a seven-day Season Ticket (photo-ID card required). For a day’s unlimited travel on the Island Line and Isle of Wight Steam Railway, choose a combined Island Liner Day Rover ticket; adult £15, child (aged 5-14) £7.50.
Drive Less, See More
There is a wealth of opportunity for car-free travel on the Island that gets you out of your vehicle and onto public transport, or encourages you to go under your own steam. Choose from Open Top Breezer buses, quirky heritage railways and world-class walking and cycling routes, all of them just waiting to be enjoyed.
The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is one of the Island’s most popular attractions and holds themed events throughout the year (check website for details). Its restored 19th and 20th-century carriages chug through five miles of stunning Island countryside, from Smallbrook Junction to Wootton. Prices start from adult £13, child (aged 5 – 15) £6.50.
Call 01983 882204
Solent & Sightline Cruises operates harbour tours and tailor-made private charters from Cowes to Portsmouth, Southampton and in and around the Solent, taking in sights such as The Needles.